Sa'ar: A third election could result in a leftist government

Likud MK claims: Many Likud members support me behind closed doors but are afraid to say so out loud.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'ar
Kobi Richter/TPS

MK Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) warned on Saturday night that, if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heads the Likud in a third election, the party risks a loss and the establishment of a center-left government.

Speaking in an interview with Channel 13 News, Sa’ar further claimed that many Likud members express support for him in closed conversations but do not publicly declare their support.

"We have twice failed to form a government, that is what has changed. The question is whether we should go to a third election and risk this crazy impasse, which would cost the citizens in a cut in public services, in the raising of taxes, and could even result in the rise of a leftist government. The best thing to do to prevent third elections and to maintain Likud's rule is to do exactly what the prime minister proposed two months ago," he said.

"There are a lot of Likud members who support this and don't say it,” insisted Sa’ar. “The attacks on me and the delegitimization of my candidacy are not just about this. This incitement is intended to scare everyone, so that they are not only afraid to say what they say in closed conversations, but that if they raise their heads and say what they want, then they too will be attacked and their family members will be attacked. I appeal to Likud members - I get a lot of inquiries from Likud members, branch heads, heads of government, regular members. Those who cannot withstand the condemnations should not enter politics.”

Sa’ar made clear that “if the prime minister would be successful in forming a government while under indictment, despite the difficulty of running a government while going through a trial - the law permits it. And even if he succeeds in forming a government in the next 11 days, the intention is to support him, there is no question about that.”

Sa’ar has come under fire in recent days for calling to hold primaries for the Likud leadership and for declaring his intention to challenge Netanyahu in those primaries.

Last week he claimed that if he heads the Likud, he will succeed in bringing more seats than Netanyahu.

"I would have backed Netanyahu even with an indictment - but there is a political reality that says he failed to form a government twice. Do you see a reasonable possibility that the Prime Minister will succeed in forming a government after a third election?" Sa’ar told Reshet Bet radio in an interview on Thursday.

"I can bring the most seats to the Likud. I have no doubt that I can bring more seats to the Likud than Netanyahu. I will bring votes from the second bloc," he insisted.

A poll conducted for Radio 103FM found last week that a right-wing bloc led by Sa'ar will gain 60 seats, three seats more than the same bloc headed by Netanyahu, though the Likud would weaken.

According to the poll, the Likud led by Netanyahu would win 33 seats if elections were held today. With Sa'ar at its head, the Likud would win 28 seats, five fewer seats.

However, the wandering votes within the bloc increase its power. The New Right doubles its power from 6 to 12 seats, Shas increases from 9 to 11 seats, and United Torah Judaism increases from 8 to 9 seats.